Tag Archives: Loss

Not the best day I’ve had


I’ve been up half the night. Not because ADHD boy has been turning night into day again. No. Because two kind of weird things happened yesterday.

And they triggered discussions and memories and thoughts that I’m uncomfortable with.

We’re attending a class at the moment, to try to help us deal with Aden’s problems. A group of parents sit together and we listen to a trained advisor and each other.

Yesterday, the advisor (I can’t think of a better word to describe her, I just know she has training and experience and has got to know our kids) asked us about our own upbringing.

She asked if our parents were more authoritative or liberal or a mix.

The question took me aback. I hadn’t expected our own childhoods to be approached at all. And I flapped around thinking what I should say.

Luckily for me, one guy decided that was exactly the right moment to pour his heart out and being on a time schedule, the advisor reeled it in and I escaped the question.

On the one hand I wanted to give the guy a comforting hug but on the other I felt relief that I didn’t have to revisit my past.

Then, at home, the new Facebooker in the family (my second eldest is finally allowed an account) received an angry message from my brother.

I’m presuming that he must be pretty angry, why else would he include this sentence in his message to a 13yo (who had not contacted him at all):

“Unfortunately the bevaviour of your mother and the callousness with which she has treated your nana and grandad, your aunty L and myself means that this situation will never be resolved.”

The ‘situation’ being that we’ve all fallen out.

To be honest, I’m fed up of being depicted as the bad guy.

I am many things: untidy, forgetful, clumsy, sometimes selfish, and emotional. I panic on motorways (even when others are driving) and I think my laugh is too loud. I embarrass myself when I’m drunk. I get really stressed and think about things too much. I forget people’s names (even my own on occasions) and I have a tendency toward obsessive behaviour (though unfortunately not in the cleaning and tidying department). I can also get pretty damn cross.

I am battered. I am worn out. I’ve been abused.

I am the black sheep of the family. I am different. But I am not, I repeat, I am not, callous.

Last night I could not sleep because that’s unfair. To me and to my daughter.

It all has to STOP. Now.

Otherwise, I’ll also be broken.

The first person who broke my heart


The WordPress prompter asked:

Describe the first person who broke your heart. And if you could take revenge on them now, would you? Did you ever think about it? What would you say to them now if you met them on the street?

Now my heart has been broken several times over the years, by friends, family and of course, the inevitable boyfriend or two.

I think the question probably refers to ‘partners’.

So I’ll go with that.

Sitting in a history classroom (aged a mere 17) I chatted and giggled with my best friend Faye, who had some extra special news for me that day. She’d met a guy that according to her, was perfect for me. She wanted to set me up with him on a blind date.

Shocked and indignant, I retorted that I did not want to be ‘set up’ with anyone. Despite her protestations, her descriptions of how he was the yin to my yang and all that jazz, I stuck to my guns and refused to meet him.

I can’t really remember how much time passed. Maybe a few weeks, maybe a few months. But one day I bumped into Faye as she left and I entered our local shopping centre. We chatted briefly and then right after I left her, I spotted a boy.

Tall. So skinny, his clothes almost fell off him. With long, wild, curly, black hair and eyes that looked right into my soul…

And I was dumbstruck.

I excitedly told my friend Faye, in our next history class (as you do when you’re 17), all about my amazing encounter. I detailed how my heart had fluttered and my mouth had gone dry.

She asked me to describe the boy and then grinning (smug as you like) all over her face she told me:

It was him.

Euan.

The yin to my yang.

I did, of course, suitably chastise her for not having introduced us. As is correct for a 17-year-old girl who’s wishing to embark on the fullness of life.

And at some point after that we met again. Properly this time. At a rock disco. And somewhat spurred on by a few drinks, I threw myself at him caught the attention of my man.

He was funny. Kind. Passionate. Always philosophising. Clever. Artistic. Loved his ‘sounds’. Chatty. Argumentative. Liked his pint. He lived in a second-hand army jacket. And fan t-shirts. And jeans. He liked to provoke. He was romantic. Sweet. Troubled. Caring. Good.

We spent the first months of our relationship pretty much in each others pockets. But then things got in the way. Family. He went through the awful loss of losing both his father and his grandfather to cancer. Understandably, he spent a lot of time at home but then he had an opportunity to go away for three weeks. He asked me to go with him. We’d hardly seen each other in the previous weeks, but I had to decline. I had exams to sit. And so he left. Alone.

Meanwhile, my relationship with my parents went from bad to worse and at some point I walked out. Aged 17.

I had my issues and he had his, and when he didn’t turn up to my 18th birthday celebration, I went to look for him and we had an almighty row.

And we split.

There and then in the middle of the street. In front of friends and passers-by.

I could not accept the split. For me it was unnatural. Neither of us had met someone else, or even stopped liking the other one. We just had so much heartache in our own lives that it had spilled over and we were too young and too inexperienced to pull together and deal with it side by side.

For the next year and a half I catapulted around from pillar to post to wall to doorway.

And then, we were both in the same place, at the same time and our eyes met and suddenly, we were together again. I felt so happy.

But we had changed.

He had changed. He was sad. Torn. Battered and bruised. He warned me that he was not the same person that I had once known.

I had changed. I lived my life on the edge and I ached with loss and rage. I assured him that we could go back.

One evening he declined to come out. Said he didn’t feel so well and wanted a night in. I went out with friends, but while I was dancing I had an image enter my head of him kissing another girl that we both knew. It was the strangest thing and it really shook me up. I told myself I was being ridiculous. He’d never shown any interest in that girl and besides, he was at home, feeling sick.

At the end of the night my friends and I headed off to the taxi rank and there he was. And there she was. They denied any wrongdoing, and I had only an image in my head to go by. But soon after, one of his friends confirmed my suspicions and I flipped…

Years later, I bumped into him again. I was married at that point, to my first husband. It was good to see him, we talked and hugged and cleared the air. He apologised, I apologised and he was more like his old self. And me, I guess, like mine. He told me where to head with my life and I listened. The same old passionate philosopher…

I will be honest with you and tell you that in all those years not a single day had gone by, that I hadn’t thought about him.

In June 2002, a mutual friend called me and told me that Euan had died in his tenement after falling down the stairs. Aged just 30 years old.

To this day, despite attending his huge funeral, I still find it difficult to believe that there will be no little Euan’s in the world, no wife for him to be sweet and kind and romantic with and no world to hear his philosophising.

x

Tweeting for God


It strikes me that watching the images of the earthquake in Japan and the following tsunami affecting people all over the pacific region, that I feel helpless.

Twitter is full of well-wishing tweets and prayers. And I would truly and genuinely add my prayers if I believed they would in any way help. But in all honesty, I don’t.

If I actually believed in a God that could intervene in the control of these natural disasters, then at this moment in time, I would be facing the question, why did he/she let it happen at all?

Now I’ve heard many an argument from religious people saying that disasters and catastrophes are brought on by us humans. That God has no control. Or will not intervene. So then, what’s the point in praying to him/her?

I am baffled by religion. Very little makes sense to me. But at the same time I would love to have belief. A belief in a safe passage for my children, my husband, myself and of course, all of the other people that I love.

And I would love to beg or pray for help for the Japanese. For those in New Zealand. For the people of Libya (I know the situation there is not a natural disaster, but I would pray for interference anyway).

And for that help to actually arrive.

Sitting here on the safety of my sofa, I feel useless. I feel sad. It seems to me that we are empowered with endless streams of information. But all we can actually do is read it. Listen to it. And feel it.

To the rest of the world,

Please know that when we watch your plights unfold on television or read your troubles in the news, we feel concern. When we look through our twitter feed we are pleased to learn that someone someone else knows, is safe.

I know it’s not just me. Or there would not be such generosity for comic relief,  and Sir Bob would have remained just ‘Bob’. And the hash tag of today would not have read #prayforjapan.

Many of us look on in our own private horror and disbelief and wish you well.

And it seems for the moment, that is all we can do. Sorry.

That and throw a few coins in a collection tin when it arrives.

Thinking of you,

Sarah

Feel free to sign, if you want to, in the comments below.

Update you can donate here:

http://www.shelterbox.org/

The Ultimate Question


Lori asked a question last night, at the dinner table, of all places. It is for me the ultimate question. Although I can answer it quite easily.

Lori asked:

“What would you do if you found out you only had a few days left to live?”

Her own answer, “I’d do something for the environment, leave something good behind.”

Lori you make me proud. And I know that you will go on to make me even more proud. I trust you. I believe in you and I always will.

Here is my answer, an emotional one for me, which is why I didn’t say anything last night.

Dearest Lori,

If I discovered I only had days left to live I would cherish and organise the last days of my life.

I would spend every waking moment with those I love. My children and my husband. I would give you time individually and together. I would hug you all, stroke you and hold you close. I would breathe in your smell. Imprint your smile and your laughter. I would wipe away your tears.

I would tell you how much I love you at least a thousand times.

I would give you little tips of advice. I would brush your hair. I would ask you to sing for me, again and again, ‘Just one last time’.

I would make an all important phone call, Lori. To your dad in Scotland. I would beg him to accept my wish. That you all stay together here in Germany with Papa. Where you’ve all made your lives. And are happy and safe.

I wouldn’t let Papa go to work. I’d keep him by my side. And I’d show him how much I love him. And wish he’d have a happy rest of a life.

I’d spend times with my most loved friends. And ask them to watch over you all in my absence. And between them, do the job I should have done.

And I’d write. For you and for me.

And that’s it. There’s no where I’d want to visit. Nothing new I’d like to try to eat. No record I’d like to beat.

But your question made me think even more.

Death is a huge problem I just can’t get around. It’s something I can’t beat. No matter what I do, it looms.

Most people, Lori do not have those last days to say, “Goodbye.” Most people do not know they are about to die.

My daddy died when I was seven. It left me with a wounded heart. No one ever really talked to me about it. Someone told me not to cry in front of my mother, because I’d only upset her. So I cried alone, lest I upset anybody. My mum never really mentioned him again. It was like one day he was there and the next he was gone.

He died on March 13th 1980. So almost 31 whole years ago. But I still miss him and wonder what would have been.

As a child I often ‘imagined’ his presence. Strange things happened and I attributed those events to him. I thought he was playing with me. Perhaps I created those happenings myself, perhaps he was there. I don’t know – but it doesn’t matter because it pulled me through that awful time.

The first Christmas after he passed, I tried to send him a Christmas card. On the envelope I wrote, “To Daddy, C/o God, In Heaven”. My mother caught me trying to post it (without a stamp) and took it away and wept.

My hope and wish is that I live to see all of my children grow up. To see them enter their adult lives and be there when they have their own children. Offer support and take part in my babysitting duties. I plan to live for a long time and to enjoy my life. But sometimes plans do not go accordingly.

And your question made me think of all the ‘what ifs’ that haunt me and I thought that it is now time to put those ‘what ifs’ to rest. To let go of the panic of leaving my children behind without a goodbye. By writing my goodbye now. So it’s there. And always will be.

Dear Joni, Lori, Aden and Akasha,

It is my time
I’ve had to go
I will no longer say ‘Hello’.

In the meantime
There are a few things
You four should know

I’ve tried to teach you as well as I can
The lessons in life important for man

The first is love
Is true and real
Never be afraid
To show how you feel

The second is laughter
Heals the pain
Lightens your heart
And keeps you sane

The third is learning
Listen and read
Then apply what you’ve learned
Through all your deeds

Next comes instinct
Hone this skill
Do not just listen
To your own will

Five is adventure
Take a chance!
Life is short and will impose its stress
Take a deep breath
And enter…
The wilderness

Discover your passions
Assess your goals
Question your intentions

Run through the snow!

Naked, if it rocks your boat ;-)

Take a moment
Before you decide
From your decisions
You cannot hide

Failure is a test
You will not always know
What’s best -
So
Pick yourself up
Dust yourself down
Try once again
With some experience now.

Take care on your journey
Watch out for each other
Accept the sadness caused
By the death of your mother

Let the tears flow freely
Release the sadness
Inside
Until a calmness comes
Then look back on my life

All the happy moments
That we have shared
The fun
The laughter
The tips
The advice

Remember back
But look forward
To the challenges of your lives
Although I may not be with you in person
I still survive

You have my hair
And you all have my nose
Which of you has my extra long toe?
You have my humour
You my passion for food
You own my voice
You, my sense of rejoice.

I am in your heart
You carry me around
When you cut yourself
It’s my blood that runs out

And watch out:
Every once in a while
Perhaps in your children
You’ll catch a glimpse of my smile!

All of my love,
Mama

Uncle John


To My Dearest Uncle John
I’m sad to hear
that you’ve left us
that you’ve gone.

I’m sad
that I won’t
see your face
once again
that I won’t
hear your laugh,
I won’t see your smile
I can’t tell you
I love you
with the love
of a child.
One who adores
those stories of old
to be told and told.

A warm-hearted soul
A cheeky glint in the eye
laughter flows
from someone who knows
how to enjoy life,
a kind, kind man
oozing honesty and goodness
who showed me simply:
What Is Right.

Part 1


No card
No telephone
No ring
No moan,
No one to think of me
I am all alone
Abandoned in the world
To decipher my own fate,
No wise words to guide me,
You will not hold my hand
I know for sure
Me, you do not understand.

I am torn:
I am hurting
Yes,
That cannot go away
Even though you have decided not to stay.
Confused,
Sad,
But occasionally glad.
Peace,
Calm;
The lull before the storm?
I cannot say.

You asked me to tell you and I did
What’s wrong with that?

I tried:
I ignored
I accepted
I swallowed hard
I felt anger
And pain
Disappointment.
But I said nothing
Until you asked,
I let you be,
I allowed you,
Well it is wrong
You have to see,
But you cannot
For you are you
And I am me.

I’m sure you’re sad
But whose it for?
Is it real?
Or for the onlookers, all?
For the attention?
For the status
Of a victim
Once more…

Lost


There are days when I can’t sleep.
And days when I really don’t want to stay awake.
Days when I feel lonely,
And some that I wish that everyone would just go away.
At times my heart weighs heavy
Like concrete in my chest -
But feels pain.

Today I am sad.
I am sad for all the missing people in my life.
Sad for the people who don’t understand,
Wary of those I must entertain.

The tears are there
But they do not come.
My bosom aches
And pounds
And weighs.
But I say nothing.

There are days when I am lost.
And nothing will find me.
Not even your call.